Honors College students nominated for Churchill Scholarship

November 3, 2014

Michigan State University Honors College members Irina Pushel and David Zoltowski have been nominated for a prestigious scholarship award – the Churchill Scholarship.  

Pushel is a senior majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology/biotechnology in the College of Natural Science. Zoltowski is a senior majoring in electrical engineering in the College of Engineering.

Pushel immigrated to the United States from Belarus and calls Naperville, Illinois her hometown, having graduated from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy.

While a student at MSU, she has participated in extensive research experiences, including work as a research assistant and winning a first place award at University Undergraduate Research & Arts Forum (UURAF). Pushel is a Dean’s Research Scholar in the College of Natural Science, a Phi Kappa Phi member and volunteers at Illinois and Michigan Science Olympiads.

She is a recipient of the MSU Alumni Distinguished Scholarship, the Hymen and Miriam Stein Scholarship, and the Fowler Undergraduate Scholarship. Pushel plans to pursue a master of philosophy in computational biology at the University of Cambridge. 

“I am interested in pursuing a career in research,” she said. “I want to do cutting-edge interdisciplinary work and take new computational approaches to solving biological problems.

Zoltowski hails from West Lafayette, Indiana, graduating from West Lafayette High School. He is captain of the MSU Varsity Swimming and Diving team, a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and Academic All-Big Ten.

One of last year’s Goldwater Scholars, Zoltowski has also earned the MSU Honors College National Scholarship, Walter R. Yates Memorial Scholarship and Arthur J. Harris Memorial Scholarship.

Zoltowski is a research assistant, member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu and an Honors Times Two mentor.

Zoltowski plans to pursue a master of philosophy in information engineering at the University of Cambridge. 

“My ultimate goal is to become a professor doing research studying the brain from an engineering perspective,” he said. “A long-term goal of mine is to apply my analysis techniques to the study, diagnosis, and treatment of autism spectrum disorder. I draw motivation for this goal from my triplet, autistic brother.”

 “On behalf of Michigan State University, we are pleased to nominate Irina and David for the prestigious Churchill Scholarship,” said Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, dean of the MSU Honors College. “Both are exceptional students with a thirst for knowledge. We wish them the best of luck in their endeavors.”

Established in 1959, the Winston Churchill Foundation’s Scholarship Program offers 14 American students of exceptional ability and outstanding achievement the opportunity to pursue graduate degrees in engineering, mathematics, or the sciences in Churchill College at the University of Cambridge, England. 

MSU has produced 16 Churchill Scholars.

The National and International Fellowship and Scholarship (NIFS) office at Michigan State University, administered by the Honors College, helps interested undergraduate and graduate students to pursue major national and international opportunities by providing information and direct support throughout the competitive application processes. The Honors College serves academically talented, committed students who wish to pursue and achieve academic excellence.